Royal College of Art (RCA) has selected Pritzker Prize winning firm Herzog & de Meuron as the winner of their design competition, which called for creating a concept for the institution's Battersea South campus in London. The winning design was chosen out of 97 other project concepts by firms from all around the world, and beat out six other finalists that were announced in August, including New York City-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Chicago-based Studio Gang.
The jury was comprised of Marcus Cole, RCA master’s student of architecture; Alan Leibowitz, joint managing director of Dorrington, a London development company; Richard Burdett, RCA professor of Urban Studies; and Paola Antonelli, senior curator, the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Because the RCA campus at Battersea South aims to become a more STEAM-focused (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) university, the jury looked for the combination of these disciplines within the seven final concepts, to ensure that their campus can be flexible in the new structure as it continues to grow.
Herzog & de Meuron’s design succeeded because their, “approach demonstrated a deep understanding of the potential for Battersea, making new connections and foreseeing the possibilities for sustainable place-making," said the jury in a press release by the firm. "Their concept provided a clear organizational structure and showed an acute sensibility in mapping the complex objectives in the brief.”
The RCA will start working closely with Herzog & de Meuron as well as global engineering firm Mott MacDonald and U.K.-based management consultancy Equals Consulting to come up with an initial design for the new arts and design center. “We are delighted to win the competition. The RCA set a challenging brief to look forward and visualize the spaces they will need to deliver innovation and expertise." said founding partner Pierre de Meuron, Hon. FAIA, in the same press release. "The Battersea site offers an opportunity to rethink the RCA campus and establish the patterns of connectivity and organization that will make a successful building."